WS Atkins, Britain's top ranked engineering consultancy, reported a much better than expected first half of the current fiscal year and moved on to predict an even stronger second half, leading the company's shares to rise by as much as 9%. On the back of strict cost cuts and a very strong performance from its key businesses, including UK road projects, the consultancy increased its year-on-year earnings by as much as 6%. Operating profits of the current fiscal year's first six months were revealed to be 51.1 Million Pounds, with operating margin up 0.5 percentage points to stand at a new high of 7.3%.
"Our performance over the six months demonstrates our ability to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace and to flex our resources to meet expected demand", Chief Executive Keith Clarke shared.
Atkins, which has been involved with some of the world's biggest and most prominent projects, is currently working on the development of the London 2012 Olympic Park, and has landed major deals to work on the New Glasgow Campus education project and the NHS Tayside Murray Royal Hospital. The firm has already managed to secure 90% of its targeted revenues for the ongoing fiscal year.
In light of the success, the firm increased its interim dividend by 6% to a new high of 9.25 per share.